Here's the final Alpha-Test rules for the Turn Sequence. Let me know if you see any problems. The next rules post will formalize the Action Phase structure. Then movement, then shooting.
The Turn Sequence
Just like Chess, M42 is played with each side taking turns to move and fight. However, unlike Chess, each player will move and fight with all of their playing pieces at once. Then their opponent will move and fight with all of their pieces.
This back-and-forth continues until one player achieves victory over the other. Either by capturing a key objective, or by killing enough of their opponent’s army that they are forced to flee the field.
A game round is defined as the time it takes all of the players to complete a single turn. Thus a single ‘Round’ will always comprise 2 or more ‘Player Turns’.
Whenever the M42 rules refer to a ‘Round’, this always means a game round, and not an individual player turn. For all effects that last for a ‘Round’, the effect will always be considered to last from the phase of the player turn in which it started until the starting phase of that player’s next turn.
Within each full game turn, each player will have his or her own turn during which they move and fight with their army.
Whenever the M42 rules refer to a ‘Turn’, this always means a player turn, and not a complete game round.
The Turn Phases
Each player turn in M42 is divided into 3 different phases. So that the movement, shooting, and close combat actions of a player’s forces happen in a certain order.
- Starting Phase
- Action Phase
- Assault Phase
The Starting Phase
The Starting Phase is where you prepare your forces for the other phases of the turn, check victory conditions, and attempt to rally fleeing or pinned troops back into the fight!
During the Starting Phase you:
- Check Army Morale
- Check Victory Conditions
- Roll To Rally Units That Are Falling Back
- Roll To Remove Suppression Markers
The Action Phase
During this Phase, you may move and/or shoot any of your units that are able to do so. The details of how to move your troops around the table, or shoot their weapons at the enemy, are covered here.
During the Action Phase you:
- Select A Unit
- Select That Unit’s Orders (If Any)
- Perform The Unit’s Selected Orders
- Select And Order Your Remaining Units
- Test Morale (If Required) For Enemy Units
The Assault Phase
During the Action Phase, some of your troops may have contacted the enemy and entered into close-quarters combat with them. The Assault Phase is when you work out who strikes who, which models are killed or wounded, and which unit or units are destroyed or forced to fall back from the assault.
During the Assault Phase you:
- Determine Assault Groups
- Select An Assault Group
- Select An Assaulting Unit
- Roll To Hit/Penetrate/Kill Enemy Models
- Select And Assault Your Other Units
- Opponent Tests Morale.
- Opponent Counter-Attacks (If Able)
- The Loser Falls Back Or Is Destroyed
- The Victor Consolidates
- Select And Assault The Remaining Groups
Who Goes First?
This depends on the rules of the mission you’re playing. Normally, both players will roll a D6 and the player who rolls the highest result may choose whether they wish to go first or second.
The player who is going first then selects the side of the table they wish to start on and deploys their entire army at once. The player who is going second then deploys their entire army. After all players have finished their deployments, the game begins.
Unless specified in the mission you’re playing, there is no set game length in M42. You simply keep playing until one of the players either achieves their victory conditions, or a player’s army sustains enough casualties that they fail a company morale check and flee the field.
Most games will revolve around capturing and/or defending key objectives, retrieving objects, or grinding down your foe down until they are forced to withdraw. Ties are possible in M42, but the rules are structured in such a way as to make this kind of outcome very unlikely.
Turn Sequence Exceptions
Sometimes, during a player turn, something you do will require your opponent to perform an action. Such as making a saving throw for models that were hit, or moving models that you have forced to fall back. Once your opponent has completed his required action, your turn will always continue as normal.